Phils Ramblings May – Aug 2009

4th August 09 and we have been back on the Gold Coast for a week on the way to the Longboard Nationals at Port Macquarie. Surfed the wide bank at Snapper come Greenmount a couple of times 2-3ft. The warm water 19 C is very pleasant although the wind can sometimes make you cold. We went down to Lenox for 4 days surfed the point a couple of times, Shellie’s and a old favourite beach break north of Byron near the old abattoirs, all small but good fun little waves.

Mon 10th surfed Snapper 3-4ft meet Andy Carter from Rye who said Mark Watkins who does our surf report and also runs the milk bar at Rye back beach was coming up tomorrow just for the day, he figured it was cheaper than going to the snow for the day. The next morning the swell had picked up to 5ft with very light northerly breeze. Normally I would go to Burleigh where it would be more offshore, but I thought it would be good to have a surf with Andy and Mark. There was a 2ft wave breaking right along the inside rocks of Snapper, after one wave I moved across to the middle peak, one wave here and I was on the inside of the outside peak, a 5ft wave broke right in front of me and as I duck dived my hand slipped off the rail turning my board underneath me, the fin cut the back of my calf. When I put my hand down to feel how bad it was, my fingers went inside the cut, so I went straight in. Tying my t shirt over the gash stopped the bleeding and few stitches later every thing was back to normal well almost. The long board titles were in Port Macquarie in 5 days time so it will be interesting to see how long the recovery will take.

Looking towards Kirra the superbank was were these rocks are now.

Having a little time on my hands I thought I would share a few pictures and thoughts on how the worst storm to hit the Gold Coast in 40 years in late May affected the beaches. The swell reached 16m on the buoy that sits off the end of Point Danger. The wind, rain and swell battered the Northern NSW and Southern QLD beaches for 4 days, the erosion was unbelievable and we were lucky enough to be back on the Gold Coast to see Mother Nature at her worst. The only problem was everywhere was too big, there were 10 -15 jet skis out at Currumbin but that was it. There were a couple of guys trying to find a reform off the end of Greenmount, so I joined them, it was as expected like a giant washing machine and we quickly got washed down to the groin, after another attempt I’d had my exercise for the day.


Currumbin and the big swell

With all the wave action there were huge amounts of foam accumulating around the Currumbin S.L.S.C. There were hundreds of people checking it out the kids and sometimes whole families disappearing under the fast moving foam. It was amazing to see them remerging from these clouds of foam totally covered with a light brownie coloured sludge.

In the late60’s I remembered on big swells Paul and I had a couple of surfs on a bank about 500m up the Tweed River, I had checked it out but there weren’t any banks. In the local paper a couple of days later were pictures of guys surfing 6ft+ waves 100m inside the mouth of the Tweed, it only worked for a limited time on the out going tide.

The next day drove to Noosa, it was impossible to get a car park there were people every where but surprisingly not that crowded in the water. It was 5-6ft breaking perfectly from way inside but as soon as you hit the water you were getting sucked down the point in one of the strongest rips I’ve ever been in .If you miss a wave and they were incredibly hard to catch, it would take 5min of flat out paddling to recover your position. After 5 waves and 1 ½ hours of non stop paddling I gave up and drove straight back.

These pictures show the view of Greenmount with Snapper Rocks in the background

The swell had totally destroy all the banks , all the sand at Snapper had been sucked out to a bank out to sea off Greenmount with nothing on the inside, all the other breaks were the same. Palm Beach was the worst hit with 3m high cliffs where it was just a gentle slopping beach. The G.C.council announced they were going to truck 100,000 cubic M of sand from Kirra to Palm Beach, which should be beneficial to Kirra as well. Over the next 3 week things got gradually better, but it’s going to take along time before they recover.

Not much left of Palm Beach.

Well after 5 days of not doing anything, I was only just able to walk. Bob Smith rang and said I was due to surf in the 4th heat the next morning. It was like having a bad corkier and every heat I got through was a bonus. I made the final but with a lack of rideable waves ended up 3rd.It has shown me that if you do the right thing with an injury your recovery will be a lot quicker, normally I would have only lasted a couple of days, the stitches would give way and it would take 3-4 weeks to heal up. Now we’re back home I’ve started back on the Stand up Paddle board which is definitely a new challenge. The SUP surfer in the pictures below is Matt Lumley from Torquay he placed 2nd in the 1st SUP Aussie titles, that’s how the surf was for the whole contest 2-3ft shifty peaks you just had to be lucky.

Matt Lumley

See you at Pines